October 22, 2020

Recommendation and Review: Looking For God by Nancy Ortberg

Looking for God is a collection of personal and topical essays by Nancy Ortberg, loosely themed around the idea of rethinking/rediscovering God through Jesus.

Each essay has a central theme, a Biblical center, good questions and outstanding- really, really outstanding- real world illustration and application.

While the book doesn’t tell me a lot about Ortberg’s rediscovery of God in a narrative fashion, the key moments and lessons captured in these essays are insightfully honest and occasionally deeply moving.

Ortberg has a gift for finding the God and Father of Jesus in the places of life many people find him absent: hurts, disasters, losses, death and dilemmas. It is in the empty and hurting places Ortberg has learned the most, and she communicates it well.

There is plenty of theology in this book, but not the kind that announces its presence in advance or demands you choose a team for the upcoming debate. Instead, Ortberg takes account of what God is revealing about himself as she’s seen him in her own life, the lives of those she’s ministered to, and in the Christians who have been used by the Holy Spirit to reveal the depths of God’s reality.

There is a wonderful sense of passionate application of Jesus Shaped Spirituality in this book. The moments Ortberg has seen God the clearest have been moments that the radical Kingdom of Jesus has broken through into the ordinary. Those are exciting moments and Ortberg tells them well.

I enjoyed the book. It was a very quick read for me, and would be an excellent book to give to someone who reads “popular” Christian books. It’s also a book with many good insights for speakers and communicators.

Nancy Ortberg reminding me that the God we’re all looking for deeply wants to reveal himself to us in Jesus, but our version of Jesus and Christianity often obscure the power and passion of a truly awesome God. When we find and follow the real deal, the Kingdom of heaven really is upon us.

I received a review copy, but no money was taped inside the cover.